Fresh, wholesome, simple, and most importantly quick to make. That is the way to describe this delicious Mediterranean couscous salad with lemon-herb dressing.
We can't wait to show you just how easy it is to throw together!
When we think of Mediterranean cuisine, we envision fresh, healthy, nutritious, and light dishes. And that's exactly what we wanted to embody when we created this salad.
If you haven't cooked with couscous much before, you're in for a real treat. When cooked properly, couscous turns into a light, fluffy, and airy addition to any salad. It perfectly soaks up the dressing you mix in so none gets left behind. We don't want to lose any precious dressing at the bottom of the bowl!
We're on a bit of a salad kick lately, and sometimes they just don't fill us up like a big bowl of chili does. That's why we jam-packed this one with vegetables, chickpeas, and couscous for a little more oomph.
This couscous salad is full of healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals as you'll soon find out. We know you're going to love how vibrant, healthy, and most of all tasty this recipe is.
🍲 Key ingredients
- Couscous: in just ¼ cup of uncooked couscous, there is 5g of protein and 2g of fiber. Although it may look like a grain, couscous is actually tiny pieces of crushed durum wheat. For that reason, it turns into an exceptionally delicious, soft, and chewy bite when cooked. It's the absolute perfect ingredient to use as a base for this salad.
- Parsley: native to the central and eastern Mediterranean region, this herb is commonly used as a garnish since it has the innate ability to brighten up dishes. It goes really well in this salad to add a more complex taste, especially in combination with the other seasonings. We also love parsley for its nutritional benefits. Just 2 tablespoons contain 154% of your daily vitamin K needs. We try our best to always use the most nutrient-dense foods we can, and parsley definitely makes this list.
- Chickpeas: known as garbanzo beans to many people, chickpeas are a staple in our diet. We love them for their nutty flavor and creamy texture, which is why we add them to so many of our meals. Not only that, based on their nutrient content we consider them a superfood. In just one cup of chickpeas, you receive 21g of protein and 14g of fiber! There's not a whole lot of foods that can compete with that!
- Kalamata olives: named after the Greek city, Kalamata, where this olive variety was first grown. Although often considered a Greek black olive, Kalamata olives have a distinct dark purple exterior. This ingredient adds a little tang and meaty texture that makes for the perfect salad. Unlike most other fruit, olives are low in carbs, but high in fat. And 75% of this fat comes from heart-healthy monounsaturated fatty acids. Remember people, don't fear fat because it's a very important macronutrient!
First off, you'll need to make the couscous. You're in luck because making couscous is so easy. Once the veggie broth comes to a boil, mix in an equal amount of couscous. Immediately after mixing it in, remove your pot from the heat and put a lid on. That's it! The water will naturally absorb into the little couscous bits.
While the couscous is cooking, you'll chop up the vegetables, olives, sun-dried tomatoes, and herbs. If you are using canned chickpeas, open them up and rinse thoroughly. If you are preparing them from dry, cook some in a pressure cooker (like the Instant Pot) beforehand.
Once the couscous is done, add it and the rest of the salad ingredients to your bowl. Now it's time to make the dressing!
For the dressing, just add lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, red wine vinegar, salt, and pepper to a mason jar and shake it well. Pour the dressing over top the couscous and vegetables, mix it around, and you have yourself a couscous salad, friend.
Since there's fresh herbs, tomatoes, and dressing mixed into this salad, we recommend storing it in the fridge no longer than 3-4 days. If you store the dressing separate from the salad, you can get about 5-6 days of store time.
We find this couscous salad is best served immediately though to ensure optimal freshness of the vegetables.
💭 Budget tips
We think everyone should be able to eat better for less, so here are a few tricks to make this recipe even more affordable:
- Use water instead of vegetable broth
- Make sure your chickpeas are cooked from dry
- Use canola instead of olive oil
🍴 Tasting notes
This couscous salad is packed full of nutritious ingredients you'll love. It's:
If you try this dish, please rate it and leave us a comment below! Want to stay up-to-date with new recipes? Subscribe to our newsletter or connect with Broke Bank Vegan on social media. Happy eating!
Mediterranean Couscous Salad With Lemon-Herb Dressing
- Medium pot
- Large mixing bowl
- Pressure cooker
- Mason jar
- 1 cup uncooked couscous ($0.42)
- 1 cup vegetable broth ($0.25)
- 1 cup cooked chickpeas ($0.17)
- ¾ cup cherry tomatoes, halved ($0.72)
- ½ cup pitted Kalamata olives, roughly chopped ($0.56)
- ½ large red bell pepper, diced ($0.41)
- ¾ cup cucumber, roughly diced ($0.16)
- ¼ medium red onion, diced ($0.06)
- ⅓ cup raisins ($0.21)
- ⅔ cup fresh parsley, roughly chopped ($0.15)
- 2 tbsp fresh mint, roughly chopped ($0.00)
- 3 tbsp lemon juice ($0.27)
- 3 tbsp olive oil ($0.36)
- 1 clove garlic, minced ($0.03)
- 1-2 tbsp red wine vinegar ($0.04)
- Sea salt & pepper to taste ($0.02)
- First, prepare the couscous by bringing the vegetable broth to a boil in a medium pot. Once it is boiling, mix couscous in. Immediately put a lid on the pot and remove it from heat.
- Leave the couscous to cook while you prep the rest of the ingredients.
- Next, prepare the vegetables, olives, sun-dried tomatoes, and herbs. Add these all to a large mixing bowl along with cooked chickpeas. If you are using canned chickpeas, drain and rinse them thoroughly before adding to the bowl. If you are cooking them from dry, we recommend making them ahead of time in a pressure cooker.
- Once the couscous is done, add it to the bowl and mix everything together.
- To make the dressing, add lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, red wine vinegar, and salt & pepper to a mason jar and shake well. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed. If you like more tang, add red wine vinegar or lemon. If you want more spice, add black pepper or garlic.
- Pour dressing over couscous salad and combine everything well. Serve this salad on its own, or as a side dish.
- We used fresh mint from our garden, which is reflected in the price of this recipe.
♻️ Similar recipes
For more tasty dish ideas, check out our:
- Mediterranean socca pizza to try out something new to share with your family and friends.
- Moroccan chickpea stew for a perfect blend of unique spices you haven't tried before.
- Vegan fettuccine Alfredo for the creamiest sauce you won't believe doesn't have dairy.
- Lentil patties for a high protein, delicious recipe you won't get enough of.
You can make this recipe oil-free, but we find the fat from the oil makes the meal more palatable and balances out the tang of the vinegar. You could also try adding a sweetener, like agave or maple syrup, to even things out.
You can definitely add more protein to this meal. We recommend either tofu or tempeh as additions to this salad.
You don't need to store the dressing separate from the salad. But, if you want it to last longer, we recommend keeping them separate until you are ready to serve it.